the kiln

Breaks my heart to see you again, to see you walking through that door, stooping a little to fit, hugging your shoulders in as you hunch inward and look for me. I’m already in the rounded corner booth, having gotten there extremely ahead of the agreed-upon time so that I can gather my composure, have enough time to seem completely at ease to see you when really I’m sticky all over with sweat, hair plastered to the side of my head, made even more sticky by my awareness that this isn’t at all how I wanted you to see me again and already I feel bloated from the sparkling water I ordered to pass the time. I wave you over and as you walk over, waves break over me- I’m drowning in a half-pipe of how you walk, how you look, how you look at me. You awkwardly inch in, doing the scoot slide scoot slide on these leather half shells. Does anyone have an easy time or look good getting into these kinds of seats? Last time we were here, we had a great time until we got into a heated political debate, one where you knew everything and were ruthlessly trying to educate me by going on a search and destroy of my ignorance. I was drunk, on wine and on you, just trying to hold on, desperately trying to please you, impress you, wishing my love (though a love that couldn’t quote Noam Chomsky, that didn’t know about foreign government or healthcare systems) could be enough for you. You left me there and I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that not enough for someone. I finished my drink and in the next 4 years, I slowly became the girl you would have actually liked to have been at the bar with. Ain’t that life though, how it always goes. Today, I could have told you then, thereby saving us for now, that what is civilized is damaged. You broke me to make me and the process of your making and breaking made me perfect for you, but was too much for us, made any further relationship impossible, our relationship the kiln of our uncoupling.

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